The transition to ICD-10 is looming over the healthcare industry. The pressure to train before the October 1, 2015 roll-out is forcing many medical practices to pay for expensive courses and computer programs to prepare staff. The stress associated with ICD-10’s new coding standards is understandable. Learning to code is like learning a foreign language, and it can be overwhelming for staff to think that they have to start from zero again.
The good news for healthcare administrators is that there are fun ways to train effectively for ICD-10 that don’t require large expenses or outside training programs. Here are a few options:
Try group training.
Practicing with fake claims in groups instead of individually can lighten the mood while providing efficient training. Many certified coders and trainers encourage this method, as practices can organize games that create friendly competition. One suggestion is to group staff into two teams, with one coding in ICD-9 and the other in ICD-10. Ideally, the game continues until the team coding in ICD-10 is as fast as the team coding in ICD-9.
Adapt popular games.
Using games like Jeopardy and Bingo to teach ICD-10 can take more time, but it may also be more stimulating and fun for staff. For example, create questions involving the most common claims, and Double Jeopardy questions with those that are tougher or less common.
Use fake claims to get laughs.
Another idea is to create unrealistic but comical claims for staff to practice coding with. Anything that lightens the mood will lift morale and make for a more pleasant and effective training period. When it comes to games, the possibilities are endless, as long as someone on staff has the energy to get creative.
There are also plenty of free resources on ICD-10 through organizations like the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Health Information Management Association, and the Healthcare Financial Management Association.
While it may seem silly to turn something as serious as ICD-10 into a game, taking the pressure off can help ease tension in the office. However a practice chooses to prepare, it is important that plenty of time is laid aside for this endeavor. With enough creativity and resourcefulness, training for ICD-10 may not have to be expensive or stressful.